Tag Archives: pain

To my former Church, to my former pastor

Dear Former Pastors of my Church,

I never thought I would write this letter to you.

But here I am, writing this with a loudly beating heart and tears in my eyes.

Dear Pastors: This isn’t going to be a ‘Thank You’ or a ‘Blessings upon you’ letter. This letter will probably be an angry one; at least it will be full of pain. Pain that you have caused, pain I have finally decided to call you out for.

You know me as well as I know you. I was born into the Church, I was raised in it. I went to Sunday children groups since I was a toddler. You know my mother and you know my father. My mother even worked for you as a secretary for a while. You know about my parents’ separation and apparently you tried to stop it, but that isn’t the issue. This isn’t why I am writing this letter with shaking hands.

Between the ages of 9 to almost 12, I was sexually abused by my father. I repressed the horrible experience for 3 good years, but when I was 15 and had my first boyfriend it all came up again. After the former youth pastor and by then pastor of a different church found out what was going on, he contacted Social Services for me and I was put into care. Eventually my mother found out. She decided to disclose what was going on the former pastor.

I don’t know how the conversation between the two went and what was said. But I do know one thing. Instead of protecting me, instead of doing the right and decent thing, Jens decided to do nothing. Instead of excluding my father from the church, instead of to at least try to prevent him from going to the same church as me, he did nothing. Instead sat tight.

And of course my father used our Sunday Service as part of his plan to reach out to me. To brainwash me, so I wouldn’t press charges against him. He even used the church to force me into forgiving him publicly and privately. But did the pastor do anything, anything at all to stop this? No, nothing happened.

Instead you let a man, who you knew was a child molester go to your church every Sunday, be around me and around other children every Sunday. You let a man, who you knew was manipulative, abusive and dangerous carry on his abuse and his manipulation. You, Jens, you and your family did nothing. Nothing to protect me, my siblings or anyone in the entire Ichthys church.

But you know what instead did, or better what you let others do to me? You let other church members, like our Youth Pastor and his team accuse me of not being a real Christian; for questioning the historical accuracy of the Bible. Apparently it is greater sin to question the literacy of the Bible in the church than to sexually abuse a helpless child. Apparently it was also a greater sin of me to have sex before getting married, or for me to smoke. For which I was heavily criticised and ostracised.

Don’t you think that this is hypocrisy? How is any of this biblical or even Christian? How dare you turn your back on me, the moment I might not agree on some of your teachings, but think it is okay to not protect me and let a child molester go to your church?

How dare you? You are not worthy of calling yourself Christians, you are not worthy of calling yourself a church. You have failed to protect me, you have failed to protect the church. You have driven me away from your church, because I didn’t fit your image of a Christian any longer, but maybe you are not fitting that image. Maybe you are the ones who have lost their ways. Maybe you are the ones who have lost their way in Christ. I am 26 now and I am still suffering, still recovering from the abuse, the manipulation I endured. And a part of me thinks, that this wouldn’t be the case if someone would have done something or at least tried.

A very angry former church member

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Hurt, Proclamation and Forgiveness

It’s not easy to be different, no matter why you are different. If you aren’t part of “society”, if you are not part of the big majority, then you as the so called minority can discover problems. Our modern day, present day society is constructed in such a way that it favours the majority (or the majority designs society to favour them) and only protect the minority if this minority fights for it equal rights. And even then we still face discrimination because society has a problem with your skin colour, the language you speak, your faith and so on. And because one might be homosexual instead of being heterosexual. No wonder that I’m not a huge fan of society.

Although I’m not sure if I ever was a victim of discrimination due to my bisexuality. Sure I got threatened and bullied because of that and faced many attacks. But this didn’t stop to stand to my sexual orientation, once I was able to accept it. As soon as I could stand to it, I always proclaimed my orientation and stopped lying about it. Very often I received negative response and lost many friends. Now I’m ready to forgive my attackers and the people who hurt me.

It’s not easy to be a Christian and to be open about your sexual orientation, not easy when you are bisexual like me. Sometimes one receives positive reactions but way too often negative ones. Although I was able to live with my sexual orientation despite my faith since 2006, I wasn’t brave enough to proclaim my orientation in my church. I told my non-Christian friends about me being bisexual first. Then, years later, I mean years later I told my parents that I just happened to be bisexual and would never fit into their views of the world. I received mixed reactions.

The one parent (the one I didn’t expect it from) accepted it right away and the other didn’t. Until today this parent thinks I commit a heavy sin by being who I am and won’t ever be able to accept me, tolerate me and love me fully. The overwhelming negative reaction of this p[aren’t hurt  me very much and is main reason for my present day depression (phases) and thoughts about suicide. How can it not to know that one of your parents thinks that you’re some kind of abomination and can never accept you as the person you are? But I don’t have the power anymore to fight, or to be angry or hurt. Although sometimes I’m still hurt. But hey, my parents just have to live with the fact that I might end up spending life with a woman, otherwise they won’t a part of my life anymore. Simple as. And still; I still try to forgive them and all the others.

I never talked openly about my orientation with anyone in my former church, but still some members seemed to know what was going on (how I don’t know). By now everyone should know through this blog. Sometimes one of my fellow church members tried to talk to me about the topic indirectly. The message was always clear: That I should change my ways. Somehow people all of the sudden treated me differently for no reason and I lost many friends. I’m not sure if that was because of my orientation, or because I was in open rebellion against my former church at that time. No one of course said anything to my face, but the church kept to its negative and hateful teachings about homosexuality.

Of course that made me feel like I couldn’t live openly as a bisexual in my church and so I left the place I called home with a broken heart. I lost more friends because of that and many people from that church rather not talk to me any longer. For a long time I travelled from church to church, from denomination to denomination. No church was comfortable with my orientation, neither the Pentecostal church of my ex-husband, nor the protestant church, he as well belonged to. Many hurtful things were said and I still didn’t give up. I knew that God was on my side.

I now belong to the Roman Catholic Church, a branch of Christian churches not very well known for a positive view regarding homosexuality. But it was in this supposedly ultra conservative environment that I received very positive reactions.  The leaders of the Catholic Church might still stick to their century old believes, but that doesn’t mean the local church does. Especially in the cities the local churches are very tolerant and accepting. So was mine in Frankfurt. Here in the countryside it’s a bit different of course (another reason might be the historical and cultural differences). It’s always the people who celebrate the holy communion and mass, a priest once told me. Not the music dictates the tone, the tone dictates the music. A view I can only agree on.

I as well hurt a lot of people in the past and that is why I know how important forgiveness is. There are still a lot of people out there I have to ask for forgiveness, since it only dawned on me recently that I actually hurt thus people. And I want to also try to forgive all the people who hurt me. Finally after years of hurt, pain and sulking I’m ready to forgive these people who hurt me because of my orientation. I know that I need God’s help in that matter, since I’m so afraid to actually let go and write down all this. I pray for the wisdom and strength I need in order to this. I also pray daily that I one day meet someone from the evangelical corner who I can talk openly to about my orientation and won’t receive hate but love and tolerance instead.

I don’t want to sulk in my negative experience any longer and want to deal with my orientation in a positive light. Will there be someone, one day who, will discriminate me because of my sexual orientation? Most probably yes. But I will try my best to meet this person in love and not in hate, at least I will try. God knows that I will need its divine support in that matter. It’s my time now to share God’s love which I experienced with everyone, including my enemies. I don’t want to proclaim hate and pain, but love and forgiveness. I promise this. Amen (It shall be).